Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Monday, November 01, 2004

So, it's finally here 

My driver's license expired on the 29th of October, so I renewed it today in order to vote. Convenient as my tabs also expired the last of the month. Probably would have waited until I got a ticket had I not needed my license to vote.

Saturday night, I slid Kerry/voting information flyers under all the other 12 doors in my apartment building, not including the laundry room. I didn't want to knock twice, so am saving my knocks for between 5 and 6 tomorrow if anybody needs to be coaxed out of laziness.

This election is so strange, I can see Kerry defying the media polls and handily winning: there are a lot of unknowns that work in that direction: if early voting is an indicator of Democratic vs. Republican turnout, Bush will get smeared. I have a hunch many Republicans are not as excited about Bush as the vocal Bush supporter. Certainly not as motivated as the hordes of people that desperately desire to relieve Bush of all his hard work as Kerry put it.

In 2000, the polls immediately prior to the election almost unanimously underestimated the Gore vote but for the most part got the Bush vote right: it was 47.87% Bush, 48.38% Gore. ABC, the Washington Post and CNN/Gallup/USA today got the Bush vote spot-on, but under-predicted the Gore vote by 3-4 points. If the battleground polls are off by a similar amount in the same direction, Kerry will easily take FL and OH in which case it will be time to think about breathing easier. For graphs of the trends, see here and here. It's uncanny that every poll I've bee tracking shows a dead heat nationally the day before the election.

My favorite "surprise state" is VA: it's pretty close in the polls and although the 60-64 year old ago group has increased a whopping 14% between 2000 and 2003, the 18-24 group has increased over 7%. Plus, a lot of highly educated tech people moved to the "Silicon Dominion" during the internet boom - people likely to be "cell-phone only" and liberal.

Whether Bush's empty rhetoric will sway people that have remained undecided is a possibility: People who aren't sure who to vote for just haven't been thinking, so it's possible that "We're going to stay on the offensive" won't be thought about either: a second of reflection reveals that a) it's clear whatever Bush means by being on the offensive isn't working - Osama is still roaming free and commenting casually on our election and Iraq is getting worse and b) it's unclear where Bush is going to get the troops needed to "stay on the offensive".

I am thinking that hope is on the way and we'll all wake up from our nightmare.

Democracy is more than voting: modern democracies must value transparency and elected leaders must be subject to accountability. This administration has neither quality.

Here comes the democracy train, all abord. Choo choo.

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